Analyzing more than two decades’ worth of supernova explosions convincingly bolsters modern cosmological theories and reinvigorates efforts to answer fundamental questions.
In June, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument survived a massive wildfire, followed by rains and mudslides. After cleaning and testing the equipment, DESI collaborators successfully restarted the experiment and began imaging the night sky again on Sept. 10. The survey is creating the largest 3D map of the universe ever made to study a phenomenon called dark energy.
From high atop a mountain in the Chilean Andes, the Dark Energy Camera has snapped more than one million exposures of the southern sky. The images have captured around 2.5 billion astronomical objects, including galaxies and galaxy clusters, stars, comets, asteroids, dwarf planets and supernovae.
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $78 million in funding for 58 research projects that will spur new discoveries in high energy physics. The projects—housed at 44 colleges and universities across 22 states—are exploring the fundamental science about the universe that also underlies technological advancements in medicine, computing, energy technologies, manufacturing, national security, and more.
To map the structures in the universe, Anže Slosar scaled up Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey data. He uses light from very distant cosmic objects called quasars as a backlight to illuminate the structure in the universe in front of them.
The Dark Energy Survey collaboration has created the largest ever maps of the distribution and shapes of galaxies, tracing both ordinary and dark matter in the universe out to a distance of over 7 billion light years. The results are based on the first three years of data from the survey.
Nearly 40 years after creating the first, iconic map of the universe, researchers aim for the largest map ever.
A five-year quest to map the universe and unravel the mysteries of “dark energy” is beginning officially today, May 17, at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona. To complete its quest, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) will capture and study the light from tens of millions of galaxies and other distant objects in the universe.
Before DESI, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, can begin its 5-year mission from an Arizona mountaintop to produce the largest 3D sky map yet, researchers first needed an even bigger 2D map of the universe.
Physics professor Jeffrey Newman at the University of Pittsburgh is improving the methods for calculating the distances and developing target strategies for Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument experiments. These activities are supporting the search for answers about dark energy.
Crews at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have taken the first 3,200-megapixel digital photos – the largest ever taken in a single shot – with an extraordinary array of imaging sensors that will become the heart and soul of the future camera of Vera C. Rubin Observatory.
Inspired by the nation’s grappling with issues of race and racial discrimination, UC Berkeley physics major and Berkeley Lab student assistant Ana Lyons turned to art as a way to contribute to the conversation.
Scientists have begun operating the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, or DESI, to create a 3-D map of over 30 million galaxies and quasars that will help them understand the nature of dark energy. The new instrument is the most advanced of its kind, with 5,000 robotic positioners that will enable scientists to gather more than 20 times more data than previous surveys. Researchers at Fermilab helped develop the software that will direct these positioners to focus on galaxies several billion light-years away and are currently in the process of fine-tuning the programs used before the last round of testing later this year.
Cosmologists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory are experimenting with a prototype radio telescope, called the Baryon Mapping Experiment (BMX). Built at the Lab in 2017, the prototype serves as a testbed for managing radio interference and developing calibration techniques. Lessons learned from the prototype could pave the way for Brookhaven to develop a much larger radio telescope in collaboration with other national Labs, universities, and international partners.
Even as the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, or DESI, lies dormant within a telescope dome on a mountaintop in Arizona, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DESI project has moved forward in reaching the final formal approval milestone prior to startup.
Despite a temporary shutdown of the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument in Arizona – which was in its final stages of testing in preparation to begin mapping millions of galaxies in 3D when the pandemic struck – a variety of project tasks are still moving forward.
In this Q&A Satya Gontcho A Gontcho, a lead observer for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), shares her experiences at the DESI site near Tucson, Arizona, including evening observing stints to run through detailed checklists and probe how the instrument’s components are working.
Members of the media are invited to attend a mid-April dedication of the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), which is scheduled to begin its five-year mission to construct a 3D map of the universe in the coming months.
Astrophysicists have come a step closer to understanding the origin of a faint glow of gamma rays covering the night sky. They found that this light is brighter in regions that contain a lot of matter and dimmer where matter is sparser – a correlation that could help them narrow down the properties of exotic astrophysical objects and invisible dark matter.
The Big Questions series features perspectives from the five recipients of the Department of Energy Office of Science’s 2019 Distinguished Scientists Fellows Award describing their research and what they plan to do with the award. Josh Frieman is the division head of particle physics at Fermilab.
In the 1980s, Saul Perlmutter at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and his collaborators realized that they could use data about supernovae to research the history of the universe. They expected to see that very distant supernovae appear a bit brighter than they would in an expanding universe that wasn’t slowing in its growth.
The data revealed something else entirely.
The Science How do you determine the measurable “things” that describe the nature of our universe? To answer that question, researchers used CosmoFlow, a deep learning technique, running on a National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center supercomputer. They analyzed large,…